Hyner View State Park, a hidden hilltop treasure
By Sara Frank
As Route 120 twists along from the small town of Emporium to the city of Lock Haven, the Sinnemahoning Creek and the West Branch of the Susquehanna River accompany you on one side of the road as rolling hills and rock cliffs remain constant on the other.
Each sharp turn and crest of a hill reveals another beautiful, densely wooded stretch of narrow road that seems to go on forever in near total isolation, with almost zero cell phone signal and often miles between residences. This stretch of road was always my favorite to travel home and back during the four years I attended Lock Haven University. The drive was sort of symbolic for me; a coming back to nature with plenty of fresh air to help clear my mind.
Nearly 25 miles outside of Lock Haven the hills part just enough to give you a chance to look up from the road and take in the scene of the widened valley. On the right, way, way up at the top of the hill there’s a clearing and a retaining wall. This is Hyner View State Park.
The retaining wall at Hyner View was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. A newly erected bronze statue pays tribute to the hard work of the men of the CCC and their contributions to our public lands. The park now serves as a scenic overlook of the valley and is frequently used by hang gliders.
The park is also the location of the popular Hyner Trail Challenge. This challenging course includes three major climbs and steep descents. This race is not for the faint of heart!
This isolated treasure is easily missed unless you know what you’re looking for. The winding drive up and down the hillside is intimidating but worth every white-knuckled second.
Enjoy Hyner View as an afternoon picnic destination or catch the Hyner Hang Gliding Club taking off from the steep hillside during one of their events.
For more information visit the Hyner View State Park web page managed by the PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources.
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About the author: Sara Frank is the executive director of the Elk County Council on the Arts (ECCOTA), based in Ridgway, Pennsylvania. A graduate of Lock Haven University, Sara holds a degree in Communication Media with a concentration in advertising and public relations, and a studio art minor. Sara has years of experience in event promotion, marketing and advertising, working with non-profit organizations and small business owners, and a love for the arts. Sara and her husband Matthew can often be found hiking around the woods in Elk County with their rescue mutt or camping in one of Pennsylvania’s state parks. They’re both patrons of the arts in and around Elk County.